KT selects Ericsson to build 5G network
Ericsson (ERIC) continues to win 5G contracts from top operators, a sign that the company’s years of investment in 5G product development are starting to bear fruit. Hot on the heels of its 5G contract win with US Cellular (USM), Ericsson recently secured a contract to build a 5G network for KT, South Korea’s largest mobile operator. Ericsson helped build the operator’s 4G network, so the latest contract shows a blossoming business relationship. KT, formerly known as Korea Telecom, is planning to start providing 5G services nationwide in April.
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Arrival of 5G-compatible handsets
As 5G-compatible smartphones are expected to start arriving on the market in the coming months, operators around the world are working to get their networks ready to support those devices. In China, the country’s top operators, China Mobile (CHL), China Telecom (CHA), and China Unicom (CHU), last year inked a combined $2.3 billion 5G-related deal with Nokia (NOK), one of the leading suppliers of telecom equipment.
In the United States, the mobile service market leaders, Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), are underway with nationwide 5G network buildout plans. To speed up the uptake of their 5G services, Verizon and AT&T have placed orders for 5G-compatible phones directly with Samsung (SSNLF). Sprint (S) contracted with LG Electronics to make a smartphone that can run on its 5G network.
Ericsson generated $7.0 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter ended in December, marking an increase of 10% year-over-year.